Looted art 1933-45
Why is this issue important?
Systematic looting of works of art by the Nazis and others took place prior to and during the Second World War and Holocaust Era, a practice described as spoliation. Factsheet Background information explains what work is being undertaken in the UK and elsewhere to identify works of art with an uncertain history between 1933 and 1945. Looted and forcibly taken works of art were often in the ownership of private individuals and collectors.
How do I find out more?
Public collections are now doing all they can to make sure information is available to anyone trying to trace an object lost to their family during this period. A fully searchable database of museum reports is available. In publishing this information, museums, libraries and archives aim to advertise as widely as possible the details of specific works of art with an uncertain provenance for the years 1933-1945. Collections complete these reports as a result of extensive research. They are updated regularly as details on a specific work of art come to light.
What does a listing in the database signify?
Inclusion of a work of art in these lists does not in itself indicate any suspicious circumstances. It simply indicates that some information on the object's ownership or history is missing or uncertain. If you have further information on any of the works listed in the report please contact the institution in which that object is currently held. Contact details can be found within each report.
Where can I get further advice?
The Spoliation Advisory Panel was set up by the UK Government in 2000 to resolve claims and to advise claimants, Trustees of the holding collections and the Government. Factsheet Sources of advice on looted art 1933-45 provides further sources of advice including information on expertise in other countries as this is a matter of international concern. You may also wish to look at the resources provided by databases of stolen art listed in Factsheet Databases of stolen art, some of which include a specific section on Nazi and Holocaust Era looted art.